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OkayAfrica's 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Our curated list of 10 black-owned and black-created things that'll make the coolest gifts this holiday season.

And just like that, it's December. Whether you're giving gifts as part of a holiday tradition or just need to find something for your loved ones, we're using this as an excuse to highlight some of the products we've loved this year. We've curated another shortlist of black-owned and black-created things to shop for your loved ones (or for yourself!) this gifting season.

Check out our 10 picks below.


Shuri by Nnedi Okorafor

Naijamerican author Nnedi Okorafor has had one hell of a year. She's the pen behind Marvel's new comic spinoff, Shuri, which would be the perfect gift for your Black Panther and black girl magic enthusiast. Shuri explores the science and tech genius' journey where she's forced to choose the comforts of her gadget-filled lab or the people of Wakanda—as Black Panther gets lost in a space mission leaving Wakandans without a king.

Read more about the series here, and grab issue #1 here and issue #2 here.

BrownMill Company

2018 is the year of streetwear with a purpose and the BrownMill Company is one to take note of this holiday season. Founded in 2009 by Justis Pitt-Goodson, BrownMill is a fusion of bespoke tailoring and streetwear with a mission to reduce waste. The brand utilizes fabrics and materials when manufacturing their 'One-of-One' pieces, which in turn gives the consumer a unique product in their closet.

Here's their website.

Coloring Pins

Coloring Pins is your destination to nab pins, patches, keychains and stickers designed for the culture. Owner Essence Hayes found her niche in the accessories market that authentically represents the misrepresented and the underrepresented. "There are tons of cute pins, but none of them resonated with me or made me feel like I had to have them," Hayes says on her site. "I wanted a pin that was an extension of me, and I wanted to be able to walk with a pin that spoke before I did."

Shop on their website.

Scotch Porter

Calvin Quallis founded skincare and haircare brand Scotch Porter for the men who are about that self-care life but want to do so on a budget. And that's too real—wanting to take care of oneself shouldn't always have to come at a high price. His brand offers all-natural grooming products that tackle dry skin, hair health, beard maintenance and more that are worth a try.

Check out their website.

Justina Blakeney Home

For the loved one who loves bohemian and bright-colored home decor, Justina Blakeney Home is worth checking out. Justina Blakeney is a designer, artist and author of The New Bohemians—a New York Times bestseller. Her home decor brand features a variety of lifestyle products including furniture, case goods, gorgeous rugs, pillows, cheeky wallpaper and stationary.

Shop via Justina's website.

JEHU-CAL

Jehu-cal Emmanuel Enemokwu, also known as EMAY4K, is the founder and owner of his eponymous brand, JEHU-CAL. The Nigerian-British designer found his knack for fashion after customizing his low-cost clothes in secondary school. Enemokwu decided to name his fashion brand after his first name as a way to reclaim what was robbed of him due to bullying growing up—and the clean, bright designs show for it. JEHU-CAL is also an advocate for sustainable fashion by sourcing environmentally friendly materials, recyclable yarn and organic cotton.

Check out more JEHU-CAL threads via their website.

Temple Zen Skincare

Temple Zen Skincare was born out of the need for professional dancer and choreographer Jashiro Dean to preserve and maintain his body after a hard day's work. From using salt baths, shea and cocoa butters to utilizing essential oils, Dean wanted to impart the benefits he reaped from developing his products to his friends, family and the world. Another eco-friendly brand, Temple Zen Skincare's small-batch products are concentrated with vitamins and nutrients for healthier skin.

Shop on their website.

These Bones Will Rise Again by Panashe Chigumadzi

Zimbabwean-born, South Africa-raised author Panashe Chigumadzi shook the table that is the literary world with her novel, These Bones Will Rise Again this year. OkayAfrica contributor Rufaro Samanga notes the book, inspired by Alice Walker's essay In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens, tells the story of Mbuya Nehanda—a medium who was a fighter in Zimbabwe's Chimurenga liberation movement. It's Chigumadzi's reflection on her home country's history paired with her own family history.

Revisit our interview with Chigumadzi here and grab a copy on Amazon.

LUV SCRUB

For those folks in your life who are still unaware of the world wonder that is the net sponge, this bath tool will be sure to change their life and reveal smooth skin they didn't know they had. The LUV SCRUB is a stretchy sponge that elongates enough to get every nook and cranny of the body for a good daily scrub down—even giving you the ability to properly reach your back. Founded by Ghanaian Caroline Owusu-Ansah, she has brought the tool that's a staple in West African households and smartly presented it to the beauty world. A clutch stocking-stuffer.

Shop on their website.

OkayAfrica Shop

We are closing out this list shamelessly plugging our very own shop. We gave you the goods with dope designs this year that celebrated African pride, the legend himself Fela Kuti and even Africa's participation in the World Cup.

Check out our shop's website and keep an eye out for discounts that'll make holiday shopping easier.

News Brief

Kenya's Courts Have Failed the LGBT Community Once Again

The High Court has decided that homosexuality will not be decriminalized in Kenya.

The LGBT community in Kenya and its allies have been struck a heavy blow. Kenya's High Court has decided to uphold the criminal status of homosexuality in the country, according to the BBC.

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Watch Chika's Cerebral Performances on Jimmy Kimmel Live

The Nigerian-American MC drops serious bars in "No Squares" and "Richey v. Alabama."

Chika Oranika, also just known as Chika, recently made her late night TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live, guest hosted by Lena Waithe.

Waithe is a huge fan of the Nigerian-American wordsmith (as we all are, let's be real), especially since her freestyle about the rise and fall of Kanye West went viral last year. The rapper continues to be inspired about current events and eloquently gives much needed thoughts and commentary through straight bars.

With her performances of "No Squares" and "Richey v. Alabama" on the show, it's fair to say that she's the internet's unofficial poet laureate.

"We all know what's going on in Alabama right now, and I'm from Alabama. I felt like with this opportunity and the way that it lined up, it would make so much sense for me to come on here and speak for people who would otherwise feel voiceless," she shares with Waithe on what inspired "Richey v. Alabama."

She continues:

"Richey is the last name of one of my best friends who has such a powerful story when it comes to what's going on in Alabama. I felt like this would be a proper tribute to her, and also a proper tribute to all women in Alabama—all people in Alabama with wombs who are able to carry children—and I felt like this is my time to speak for us."

Watch her poignant performances below.

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South Africa's midfielder Linda Motlhalo (L) and South Africa's defender Janine Van Wyk celebrate after scoring a goal during the FIFA international friendly football match between South Africa and Jamaica at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban , South Africa on April 7, 2019. - South Africa's Women Team, known as "Banyana Banyana", has qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup in France 2019. (Photo: ANESH DEBIKY/AFP/Getty Images)

South Africa's National Women's Football Team to Receive Equal Pay

The Banyana Banyana, will receive the same pay as their male counterparts for the first time ever as they head to the FIFA World Cup.

Last November it was announced that South Africa's national women's football Team, the Banyana Banyana, would be heading to the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time ever. South Africans celebrated the news, but some also pointed out that despite their successes, the female players were still being payed less than their male counterparts.

This is set to change however, as for the first time ever South Africa's women's team and its men's team, Bafana Bafana, will earn the same pay as they head to the World Cup in France and the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt, respectively, Times Live reports.

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